General Health

Golden Berries: Nutrition and Benefits

The golden berry…what is it exactly? What makes it so special?

Well, the golden berry comes from the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes in South America. It is a small, round fruit, almost the size of a marble. It resembles a mini version of yellow tomato.

But let’s get one thing straight: the golden berry is not a true berry. It is part of the tomato family and closely related to the ground tomato known as ‘tomatillo.’ Tomatoes are nightshades, a large group of plants that also include potatoes, eggplants, and golden berries.

The golden berry fruit is highly concentrated with nutrients and bioactive compounds. In Colombia, this delicious fruit is an important international export and prominent local food.

The golden berry has also been used for centuries in traditional medicine, often to help cure jaundice. Some cultures have regarded the golden berry as a mild diuretic that promotes improved fluid balance.

The growing demand for the golden berry

The golden berry has a sweet and tart flavor. This has made it a popular ingredient in various cakes, sweets, baked goods, and salads. These berries can also be consumed as a healthy snack. As the berries comprise of low levels of calories and moderate levels of vitamins such as A, C, and D.

However, the real value of the golden berry is its’ antioxidant concentration. The golden berry consists of polyphenols and carotenoids, which are powerful elements of human health. When combined with other nutrients, these antioxidants make the fruit very desirable.

What are polyphenols?

Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds. They give plants color, protect them from diseases and other environmental threats. They have gained popularity due to their antioxidant properties and potential curative effects on chronic and life-threatening human diseases.

What are carotenoids?

Carotenoids help protect vision and combat cellular damage. Recent studies have also identified carotenoids as supreme supporters for the cardiovascular system and male reproductive health. They have also been linked to keeping the liver, prostate, breast, colon, and lungs healthy.

That would explain the Golden Berry’s widespread use and increasing demand across the World.

8 Incredible Health Benefits Of The Golden Berry

1) Antioxidants

The most important benefits of golden berries are derived from their high antioxidant content. This makes them an ideal nutritional supplement for preventing certain chronic diseases, including various types of cancers.

Antioxidants, like the carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds found in golden berries, neutralize free radicals. These are the damaging by-products of cellular metabolism that causes healthy cells to transform into cancerous ones.

Additional research has shown that polyphenols stop the spread of various types of cancer. This makes it a very important food source in many parts of the world. It’s what makes the golden berry a superfood.

2) Anti-Inflammatory

One of the other effects of antioxidants is a reduction in inflammation. If you have arthritis, gout, muscle aches, chronic pain, or even hemorrhoids, anti-inflammatory compounds soothe these conditions and increase your quality of life.

In one study, an extract from the husk of golden berries reduced inflammation in mice with inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammation of the arteries and blood vessels is very dangerous for the cardiovascular system. Golden berries improve heart health by reducing strain and preventing the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.

Impressive, right?

It also effectively lowers blood pressure, further decreasing the symptoms of hypertension.

3) Diabetes management

Some of the compounds found within golden berries slow the breakdown and intake of simple sugars from carbohydrates. Hence consumption of the golden berries allows for the body and bloodstream to not be flooded with sugar. It also enables insulin receptors to be regulated appropriately.

Drastic blood sugar fluctuations are the leading cause of diabetes. It can be very dangerous. The goldenberry is an effective preventative method and treatment for Type II diabetes – score!

5) Vision

For those of you with weak eyesight, you may want to stock up on golden berries. Their high carotenoid content helps boost your vision. Carotenoids eliminate oxidative stress on the ocular system. This prevents the development of cataracts and macular degenerations. Which aids your vision in top working order as you age.

6) Immune system

Studies in human cells note that golden berries may help regulate your immune system. The fruit contains multiple polyphenols which block the release of certain inflammatory immune markers.

The significant level of vitamin C in a single serving of golden berries makes this a very important fruit for the immune system. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and has certain antioxidant properties.

Vitamin C is also a key component in the production of collagen. This is what the body needs to repair and produce cells, tissues, organs, and blood vessels.

7) Weight loss

Goldenberries are also a guilt-free snack with only 53 calories per 100 grams. These tiny fruits also deliver a large percentage of your daily nutrients, without any fats or calories. Helping to keep your weight loss goals on track.

8) Prostate Cancer

Cancer is one of the worst diseases in the world. But thanks to this wonderful and natural fruit, it is the only fruit which has been proven to combat prostate cancer, a common disease among mature and older men

Studies have found the consumption of the golden berry directly from the garden, may help to fight prostate cancer.

However, results are only noticed after consistent consumption of the fruit. Research on mice, reported in the journal Drug Design, Development, and Therapy, finds goji berries may inhibit tumor growth and boost the effectiveness of cancer treatments.

In addition, other health benefits of the golden berry include:

  • Improving digestion
  • Purifying blood
  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Being a natural diuretic
  • It’s rich in phosphorus and proteins which support the growth of the body
  • Being a strong energizer

So what’s the verdict?

Conclusion

The golden berry has loads of health benefits. It also helps fight prostate cancer. Low in calories, it can be consumed as a snack or included in your daily meals. I guess they don’t call it the ‘golden’ berry for no reason then!

Sources

  1. Castro J, Ocampo Y, Franco L. (2015). Cape Gooseberry [Physalis peruviana L.] Calyces Ameliorate TNBS Acid-induced Colitis in Rats.. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. 9 (22), p1004-1015.
  2. Cheng J, Zhou ZW, Sheng HP, et al. An evidence-based update on the pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2014;9:33–78. Published 2014 Dec 17. doi:10.2147/DDDT.S72892
  3. Bucheli, P, Vidal, K, Shen, L, et al. (2011). Goji Berry Effects on Macular Characteristics and Plasma Antioxidant Levels. Optometry and Vision Science. 88 (2), p 257-262.
  4. Chiu CC, Haung JW, Chang FR, et al. Golden berry-derived 4β-hydroxywithanolide E for selectively killing oral cancer cells by generating ROS, DNA damage, and apoptotic pathways. PLoS One. 2013;8(5):e64739. Published 2013 May 21. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064739
  5. Mier-Giraldo H, Díaz-Barrera LE, Delgado-Murcia LG, Valero-Valdivieso MF, Cáez-Ramírez G. Cytotoxic and Immunomodulatory Potential Activity of Physalis peruviana Fruit Extracts on Cervical Cancer (HeLa) and Fibroblast (L929) Cells. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017;22(4):777–787. doi:10.1177/2156587217718751

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